Men of Substance: A Study of the Thought of Two English Revolutionaries, Henry Parker and Henry Robinson

By W. K. Jordan | Go to book overview

III
HENRY ROBINSON (1605-1673?): ANTECEDENTS AND LIFE

HENRY PARKER was a member of an old, established, and prosperous landed family; Henry Robinson was descended from an old, prolific, and rich merchant family. Both families had attained stability and wealth during the early Tudor period and both were in a true sense of the Tudor gentry, the one of land and the other of commerce. The two men were practically the same age, Parker having been born in 1604 and Robinson in 1605; both men were students at Oxford at the same time, where they probably met; both resided in London during most of their mature lives; and there is a remarkable similarity between them in the power, freshness, and originality of their thought. There is no evidence that they knew each other intimately, though they were connected with the government in similar capacities at about the same time, but there is every evidence that each was strongly influenced by the writings of the other.

Henry Robinson's family had been London merchants of very considerable wealth for almost a century before his birth. Moreover, they had been for about two generations among the richest, if not the most prominent, of the landed gentry of Staffordshire. During this landed interlude, however, the members of the family in whom the lands were vested remained citizens of London and active mercers. An incomplete study of the Robinson family indicates that ten of its members were prosperous merchants and members of various London companies during the period 1520- 1660, while three of the daughters married merchants of similar status. The family, including most of its branches, resided for at least a century and a half in the then prosperous parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. It was apparently a family with very close-

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Men of Substance: A Study of the Thought of Two English Revolutionaries, Henry Parker and Henry Robinson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - Introduction 1
  • II - Henry Parker (1604-1652): Antecedents And Life 9
  • III - Henry Robinson (1605-1673?): Antecedents And Life 38
  • IV - Religious Thought 67
  • V - Political Thought 140
  • VI - Social and Economic Thought 203
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index 267
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